Name Interviews

Volunteer for a name interview

One of my favorite types of posts to write is name interviews, but I’m running out of friends to peer pressure into participating, so I’m putting out an open call for name interview volunteers.

The process

If you’re interested, you can begin the process by carefully reading this page and then submitting an application via the form at the bottom. The form will send me an email, and I’ll read it over and see whether your name story sounds like an interesting blog post.

Please note that I do not send out rejections. This is partly to save time and partly because I don’t actually want to fully reject anybody – maybe you’ll send your application at a time when I’m too busy to handle it, but then a couple months later I will have time to blog again and I will send you a very apologetic email asking if you’re still interested.

Once we have established email contact, I will send you my initial questions, which you can answer via text on your own time. Depending on your answers, I may have a round of follow-up questions. From there, it will take me a couple days to format the post and publish it.

Benefits of participating

I hope that thinking about your name story and answering my questions will be at least mildly interesting to you (if not, you probably shouldn’t volunteer to do it). You will also be able to see your words on my blog and imagine other people reading and appreciating them, which may provide some satisfaction. For name stories about yourself or about fictional characters, I will link to a website or social media profile, so you might get a little bit of publicity, although this is quite a small blog, so it won’t be much. (I do not do links for name stories about children.)

Costs of participating

The main cost to you is your time, although if you decide that it’s taking too much time, you can of course stop at any point. The other cost I can think of is that since the posts are public, there may be some small loss of privacy. To mitigate this, you’re in charge of what information you share, and you can email me at any point to request that I edit or delete the post.

What I’m looking for

I am looking for slightly different things based on whose name we are talking about, so please carefully read the appropriate section before submitting an application.

Naming your child

This is the category with the fewest qualifiers, because I find the process of naming a child interesting regardless of the specific name chosen. I think these posts are most relevant to readers at large if the child is still fairly young, so that your process and options feel contemporary to people currently naming their own children, but I would also be interested in hearing about how you named a child who is now middle-aged or older.

Your own name

When it comes to talking about your own name, I want to hear from people who have something unusual about either their name or their experience with it. Examples of this include (but are not limited to):

  • Having a name that is uncommon
  • Moving from a place where your name is common to one where it is uncommon (or vice versa)
  • Changing your name as an adult
  • Especially loving or hating your name
  • An interesting family or cultural story about your name
  • An unexpected difficulty or lucky break caused by your name

If your name is relatively common where you live and you don’t have any strong feelings about it, it probably won’t make for a very interesting post (sorry! This includes my own name, I would not interview myself).

Naming fictional characters

I am not interested in the naming process for individual fictional characters, but if you wrote a story where you used names as a world-building tool, I would likely be interested in hearing about that. Did you do research into the names of a particular time or place? Did you invent a system or set of common sounds for names in a fully fictional culture? I want to know about it.

Submit an application